Marina and Riviera's Culinary Centers are equipped with individual induction cook-top work stations for students.
The new programs were developed by director of culinary enrichment, chef Kathryn Kelly, and will debut on the two ships starting in April.
'In our Culinary Center, guests cook under the instruction of faculty members who are [Culinary Institute of America] graduates and have apprenticed under a who’s who of renowned chefs,' Kelly said. 'We continue to add new topics to keep things fresh for past guests and this year we’re proud to honor our consummate teacher, Jacques Pépin, with a special class.'
A Culinary School Immersion Program will be offered on select itineraries. The curriculum focuses on the essential techniques for creating basic sauces, grilling, preparing vegetables and other culinary skills. The in-depth instruction is spread over a morning and afternoon session and extends for two days, or four sessions in total.
The highlight is a friendly competition where teams of four participants prepare a dish that is judged by the faculty and executives from the shipboard culinary team. All participants receive a certificate at the end of the program, while the winning team can claim culinary bragging rights.
In collaboration with Pépin, Oceania's exclusive class includes recipes from the world-renowned chef's cookbooks and family favorites. The new class, 'La Technique: A Celebration of Jacques Pépin’s 80th Birthday,' covers techniques written in his early book 'La Technique,' which remains a source for modern chefs, as well as 'Essential Pépin,' a collection of more than 700 technique-based recipes from his six decades in the kitchen.
Participants will learn five basic techniques around eggs, proteins, vegetables, sauces and desserts. At the conclusion of each class, they will pose for a photo to be incorporated into a birthday card for Pépin. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, these photos along with tales from students will also be posted on the Oceania Cruises blog.
Plus, the Culinary Center is introducing numerous new classes as part of its Gourmet Explorer Series. These will showcase regional cuisine from Morocco, Peru, the Pacific Northwest and more. The curriculum is designed for a wide range of tastes and culinary skill levels by incorporating techniques inspired by the cultures and regions the ship visits.
Among the classes are 'Planet Veggie,' 'Viva Tapas,' 'At Home in Sicily,' 'Rock Your Wok,' 'What Mermaids Know,' 'Global Gourmet' and the 'Pizza Master Class.' Depending on the itinerary, classes range from 45 minutes to three hours.